In our experience, most folks, including ourselves don’t have enough of an understanding of risk and the role it plays in our lives and careers and so we have made a concerted effort as a team to have conversations about risk with our interviewees. We’ve shared some highlights below.

David Bartholomew | Hyphenate– Writer, Filmmaker, Stuntman/Actor, Holistic Healing Facilitator & Visionary

We live in risky– which is to say uncertain– times, so why not learn to thrive amidst it all; and further– relish it all? Coping mechanisms, mental health, our energy and vitality, our outlook and ability to roll with the flow of all which life dishes out, are intimately intertwined with how we play with uncertainty. We learn to control that which we can and prepare to our utmost for inevitabilities and eventualities. Seems like a good working strategy to me. A laundry list of a number of my experiences might indicate having put a finer point on pushing some boundaries– seemingly risking life in various ways in the pursuit of liberty and happiness; but really, I think I just had an early sense of all of this being a process of learning to enjoy the ride. I don’t think I consciously just started doing risky things, willy-nilly. Read more>>

Andrew Pearson | Performing Artist & Producer

Bodies in Play was developed as a platform to create live performance experiences, with bodies as a focal point for creative expression. As with any performing arts production, being in close proximity with other bodies has always been a key element for both the process and presentation of the work. As I write this, in September of 2020, many of the projected projects for Bodies in Play have been placed on hold or sent back to the drawing board. The current health risks associated with bringing bodies together are simply too high to operate or create as originally intended. Prior to this pandemic, when thinking about risks in the performing arts, we often thought about creative risks in relation to the audience. Read more>>

Stephani Clymer | Boutique Owner

I do not really think about risk so much as changing and evolving. Sure, there is some risk involved there, but I look at the big picture and focus on the big win rather than the small setbacks. I am definitely not risk adverse, but feel like as long as business owners are willing to take a true assessment and be honest about potential then we really cannot lose or fail, we can only learn! Read more>>

Todd LIen | Actor/Artist & Acting Coach

Taking risk is one of the most important factory in my life/career choice. I am an artist who love to create and tell stories that I believe to be important for a wide range of audience. Making bold choices that will help contribute to the communities I care about. For example, I have taken the risk of sharing my coming out story in hopes of bringing more hope to the lgbtq community, particularly the youth community. Being an actor is about constantly putting yourself out there while creating your own content to keep your exposure steady. And that comes with the risk of getting backfired and getting disapproved constantly. In order to keep hustling and staying vulnerable for roles, you have to be constantly pushing boundary for your mental state and emotional state. Read more>>

Melissa Dawe | Chartered Accountant

I love risk and living on the edge. I like to push boundaries and break through past the normal conventions. It started as a kid, I loved gymnastics. I had no fear, and I liked showing off doing the things that everyone else was scared to do. And I taunted my mum with it. I used to hang upside down over the edge of our balcony which was the second level up, over the concrete driveway as a kid. Things like that. It was fun. So I took that I to adulthood and always pushed boundaries. And it got me far in my career. It’s not just about having fun, it’s also about competing. So I competed with everyone and myself, to get far ahead in life. Read more>>

Danene Montella | Actress, Writer & Producer

Risk is like venturing into an unmarked forest in a foreign country: For some, this idea is utterly terrifying and, for others, it’s an exciting opportunity for exploration. I find that the idea of risk stirs up a lot of fear within people because it triggers negative feelings about what they’ve been taught about uncertainty, rejection and the unknown. In my opinion, what risk allows for is the revelation of parts of yourself that you didn’t know before – parts that deserve to be heard and given attention. Without having the audacity to navigate the unknown territory of moving to a new city, leaving my last career behind, jumping into acting and trusting that I could support myself, I would not be pursuing my dreams of being an actress. Read more>>

Nicolas Varela | Writer & Filmmaker

I think risk have always played an important role in my career. Firstly, I jumped into filmmaking in another country really far away from my family and friends or everything that defined me. Also, I was challenged by language since English is not my natural speaking language. Moreover, I came to live at the most competitive city in the film industry. Therefore my initial decision to start my career as filmmaker here in LA was a risk itself. Now, as an artist risk is always part of my art-making process. I’m known for write and direct projects with a really polemic and provocative touch. Most of my creations are inside the crime genre spectrum but my approach to these kind of stories is different. I believe that people is not good or evil, people are the result of a sequence of decisions and those decisions are driven for emotions and thoughts. Read more>>

Justine Palencia | Storyteller

The biggest risk I’ve ever taken was for my mental health. I had just lost a parent, had a few thousand dollars to my name, and I decided to give up my apartment, give away all my stuff and pack up my car to visit family and just exist in my own energy. I traveled through Arizona, Washington and all over California. I didn’t know what I wanted for my brand at the time, let alone how to start a business, but taking that risk gave me an opportunity to get to know myself and get to know who I really am and what I really want. Without doing that, I wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to work for a startup company where I learned what I needed for my own startup one day. Not only did taking that risk introduce me to the resources I needed to learn the logistics of starting my own brand or company, it introduced me to amazing people who are helping me build my brand and rebuild myself. People who never could of been there if I didn’t take a risk. Read more>>

Max Coleman | Street Artist

I consider myself a cautious person in most aspects of life, however when it comes to art there seems to be a disconnect somewhere in my head. For example, in my early 20s all I wanted was to get into the street art scene. The city I was living in at the time was a little rough, and I had no idea what I was doing in terms of where and where not to paint. I put work up everywhere I could see a good spot, which at the time was thrilling, you can get a lot done when you go a bit insane. However, I eventually painted something in the wrong spot, like really the wrong spot. I was inundated with threats to my safety, place of work, and demands for me to destroy the painting I had made (which was about 20ft tall). Within 48 hours I got it covered up, apologized, and it all turned out fine, it was terrifying though. Read more>>

Meg Sette | Strategy and Marketing Consultant & Co-Founder

Risk taking has played a huge role my career. I constantly take risks, try new things, launch projects before they are ready, and this strategy has proven to be a big win for me, time and time again. The only way to be truly successful, is to take risks. When it comes to our careers, we’re taught from a very early age to follow a very linear path; go to school, to get a great job, to work for someone else’s company. But I’m a big fan of going against the status quo, and always have been. My mom still says “you are crazy” for having started my own business. And funny enough, my parents were the ones who encouraged me to do whatever makes me happy, and constantly stressed to me that anything is possible. I knew that if I failed at going out on my own, I’d still gain something from the experience; finding the positive in every challenge is a state of mind I also live by and subscribe to. Working for myself certainly hasn’t always been easy, but the challenges and the risks have made the adventure worthwhile. Read more>>

Venus Nari | President

When you learn to trust your gut you learn to quit something a take a risk. For me was quitting my job in Detroit, Michigan and moving to La. I just felt it was time to take a risk and trust it. For the six months trying to find a job that I love was difficult. When I arrived to La I volunteered right away with Lunch On Me and loved everything about it. When I quit my job in La that was not serving my purpose then dedicated my time in serving everything came together. I ended finding the job I love from volunteering taking a risk and trusting my gut. If I didn’t take a risk I would not be in my purpose. It takes hard work and trusting yourself. Read more>>

Marisa Vitale | Photographer

I would definitely not be where I am today without taking risks! I quit my day job when I was 8 months pregnant with my twins to pursue my passion of becoming a photographer! Not really the most “safe” choice. However, I had started my wedding and family photography business on the side and I knew that the only way to see if I could actually become a photographer full time was if I jumped. And there it was, I was officially a photographer with newborn twins, ha! But it worked out. My husband and I did a dance for years juggling the kids and my work. After a few years of shooting on weekends, when my husband was able to watch our kids, and edit during the week while they were napping, the system started to break down. My kids were hard babies, they were hard toddlers and having them and trying to work at the same time took a toll on my sanity, on my energy, on my personhood. Read more>>

Natalie Sofer | Wedding and Event Planner

It was a huge stepping stone to start my own company and be on my own. For most of my adult life, I had worked for a corporation. My healthcare was paid for. I had a 401K. I knew where my rent was coming from. It was easy and predictable. I did not think of myself as someone who could start my own business. Until I was in my late 30s, I had always played very safe. Fortunately I had a great group of friends and mentors that listened to me as someone who can play big. By stepping into their listening of me and who I can be by setting my mind to achieving my goals, I was able to take the jump from working in a Beverly Hills restaurant for years to working for a wedding planner to starting my own business in 2008. For years I shared by dreams with friends. They see me now as the person who could make my dreams of being a premier wedding planner happen. They are proud of me as they witnessed me becoming who I am today. Read more>>

Alexander Kaminer | Screenwriter

If you ask any successful person, they’ll tell you the same thing 🙂 If you don’t take risks you don’t succeed. And that takes a lot of courage. No one is safe when you decide to take that leap of faith, but there’s something in this world that supports you once you’ve done it. You just have to trust yourself. That’s where it starts. Trusting yourself. It’s liberating and scary as hell! But once you’ve done it, you know that it wasn’t that bad and from here on out you can jump and succeed at anything you want to accomplish. But if you fail, which most of us do, then you probably heard this saying, “Then fail better!” Read more>>

Maiya Sykes | Singer, Songwriter, Vocal Educator & Vocal production

Since Covid, I’ve had to think of risk in a whole new light. Working as a freelance creative in any field is hit or miss. So, risk is always a part of the deal. Artists are definitely sensitive people but more and more, artists are having to match the deftness of a shrewd business acumen to a constant output of creative material. In the time of a global pandemic, risk is essential. I’ve had to make up jobs and convince people to spend money in ways that make them uncomfortable. I have to convince people to spend money on music ad trust that I can adapt to their needs. All risk. Hopefully some reward. Read more>>

David Christopher | Actor, Producer & Fitness Professional

I believe a life worth living comes with risk. I’m a very driven person and I’ve actually never concerned myself much with the risk factor when compared to what I believe the outcome of pursuing a goal could be. Now I’m not saying go blindly jump off a cliff haha definitely calculate your actions with common sense and as much clarity as possible, but don’t let the fear of taking a risk stop you from moving forward. like they say, nothing great can be achieved by staying in your comfort zone. I’ve had many hard lessons from taking risks in life but all of them I have learned something from. You can become wiser, stronger and better when you learn to take risks in life. Sometimes the outcome is amazing and other times it sucks! haha but that’s life. One thing that’s for sure, if you never take a risk you’ll never know what you can truly achieve in life. Read more>>

Vanessa Luster (The PR Muse) | Freelance Publicist

“If you never take a leap of faith, you’ll never achieve greatness. You have to risk everything,” by Sydney Reising is a quote which reminds me of the importance of betting on myself. Trusting my instincts has given me access to opportunities that one can dream of. As an entrepreneur, taking risks has become apart of my business strategy. As a freelance publicist, working in the entertainment sector, it takes hard work, dedication, and guts. Five years ago, I found myself graduating from undergrad, and experiencing every student’s fear, not securing my dream job. While applying for jobs, and determined to work in the industry, I found myself frustrated due to the lack of opportunity in my desired field. I started freelancing to build my network and sharpen my skills. Stepping out on faith, I secured my first client, fashion blogger, The Brown Closet. Not having a ton of PR friends and a small network, I learned the ins and out of PR on the job. Read more>>